Selling its stake in a date centre helped add Dh500 million plus to du's third quarter net income. It will expect more gains from an ongoing cost restructuring programme. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: A one-off gain from selling its stake in a data centre helped Dubai-based telecom operator du post Dh824 million in net income for the July to end September period. That compares with Dh381 million a year ago.

Stripping off the Dh519 million benefit, du’s net income would be Dh305 million. Even then, that is a 41.6 per cent gain over the second quarter numbers. The company had then gone in for a corporate restructuring as well as a management shakeup. There were gains on gross margin and a reduction in bad debt provisions compared to the second quarter.

Those changes seem to be delivering results, with du saying the third-quarter "growth is attributed to the recovery in top-line, a better revenue mix and the company’s successful implementation of its cost efficiency programme”.

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Fahad Al Hassawi, Acting CEO of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (as du is also known), said: “We are pleased to see green shoots of recovery across our business too - for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. “Compared to Q2-2020, characterised by lockdowns and severe disruptions in business activity, our Q3-2020 results show good improvement.”

Quarterly revenues are up 0.7 per cent to Dh2.69 billion.The company had 6.59 million subscribers for its mobile services.


du's revenues from mobile services during the third quarter

Disposal and changes

It was at the end of the third quarter that du sold its 26 per cent stake in Khazna data centre, which was acquired by a division of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala for Dh800 million.

“The sale reflects EITC’s new focus on the data centre business through partnership and direct build-up,” du said. “EITC will maintain its long term commercial agreements with Khazna, through which it will continue to acquire capacity needs for the company and its clients, as required.”

Also in September, there was the departure of CEO Johan Dennelind and the appointment of Al Hassawi as acting CEO and Ahmad Julfar as Managing Director. It was indicative of the Board of Directors' "active support" for the implementation of the company's new operational model and strategy, which is currently being deployed.

We have significantly increased our capex spend for network deployment and maintenance, including the rollout of 5G across the country

- Fahad Al Hassawi of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co.